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  • 2008 Kia Sedona EX LWB

    Posted on August 26th, 2008 ninarussin

    Second-generation minivan seats up to seven
    By Nina Russin

    2008 Kia Sedona

    2008 Kia Sedona

    The 2001 Sedona was one of the first vehicles to reflect Kia’s current focus on safety and  quality. When product specialists unveiled a prototype at the LA auto show, they received a lukewarm reaction from the media. Though the concept wasn’t terrible, it lacked key features such as dual power sliding doors, considered to be qualifiers in this market.

    Rather than staying the course, designers went back to the drawing board, fixing the Sedona’s problems before putting it into production. As a result, the minivan became one of Kia’s biggest success stories: dealers couldn’t get their hands on enough of them.

    The second-generation Sedona, introduced in ’07, is a bigger and theoretically better product. Minivan owners like options, and the new Sedona offers more of them: in particular, a long wheelbase version, that gives second and third-row passengers a lot more room.

    The 2008 Sedona packs a 250 horsepower V6 engine under the hood, and can tow up to 3500 pounds. The interior is thick with cupholders, bottle holders, work surfaces, and 12-volt plug-ins. Kia has maintained its safety focus, with five-star federal frontal and side impact crash test ratings.

    But having driven the car for a week, something doesn’t quite ring true. It feels heavy on the highway, and the fold-and-tumble seats aren’t that easy to fold and tumble. At the end of the day, I’m longing for the simplicity of the original car.

    Long wheelbase means extra legroom

    The test car is the upscale EX long wheelbase grade. A five-speed automatic transmission enhances the car’s fuel economy: about nineteen miles-per-gallon on average. Standard seventeen-inch wheels give the minivan a stable footprint, and dress up the exterior.

    The long wheelbase adds thirteen inches to the Sedona’s overall length. Tall adults will find plenty of leg, head and hip room in the second row. A pass-through between the second-row seats makes it easy to climb in back.

    Third-row seats have less legroom than the second-row, but they are more spacious than the rear seats in most competitive products. As a five-foot-six adult with relatively long legs, I had enough room to be comfortable on an extended road trip.

    High level of comfort and convenience features

    The EX grade comes standard with tri-zone air conditioning, power front seats, keyless entry, cruise control, power locks and doors, heated power outside mirrors and keyless entry. A luxury package adds leather trim, a power sunroof, adjustable pedals and heated front seats with two-position memory($1700).

    A premium entertainment packages upgrades the standard audio to a ten-speaker Infinity  system, and adds rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1000).  Power sliding side doors and a power rear hatch cost $200.

    Designers did a great job on ergonomics throughout the interior. A center console tray between the front seats expands to create a surface large enough for a travel computer, with four large cupholders for first and second-row passengers.

    The gearshift is on the center stack, leaving a space on the floor for stashing a purse or pack. Audio and dual-zone front climate controls are easy to reach from either front seating position.

    A display on the overhead console can be programmed for ambient temperature, compass, or fuel meter. A small overhead bin holds sunglasses or a garage door opener.

    A tilt steering wheel gives smaller drivers a clear forward view. Redundant audio controls help the driver stay focused on the road.

    Power seat controls on the front doors are easier to reach than controls on the seat cushion. The driver’s seat has an adjustable lower lumbar support. The filler cap release is also on the front door, where it’s easy to find.

    Two 12-volt power points at the base of the center stack recharge electronic devices on the go. A dual glove box holds the headphones and remote for the DVD system up top, and has separate shelves below for the owner’s manual and car documents.

    Controls for the rear-zone HVAC are in the headliner, near the left side door. Four overhead vents circulate air through the back. All three rows of passengers get overhead reading lamps.

    Extra options add extra weight

    The longer wheelbase and luxury package on the test car add about three hundred pounds to the Sedona’s curb weight, reducing fuel economy, and impacting performance.

    In stop-and-go traffic, the V6 engine provides plenty of power for accelerating into traffic and getting up to speed between traffic lights. But on the highway, the engine lacks the power to accelerate hard. This was especially noticeable trying to get into the commuter lanes during rush hour.

    A fairly large blind spot on the driver’s side is more noticeable at speed. Visibility on the right side of the car is quite good.

    A rear backup warning system that comes with the luxury package makes it easy to back the Sedona into a parking space. The passenger-side mirror flips down when the driver shifts into the reverse so he can see the curb to parallel park.

    A fully independent suspension feels a little soft, but that’s typical for a minivan. Standard front and rear stabilizer bars prevent excessive roll in the corners.

    Configurable cargo area

    Sixty/forty split third-row seats fold and tumble into the floor using two straps on the seatbacks. The operation is more difficult that I expected it to be, but once accomplished, creates a long flat load space big enough for large cargo.

    Second-row captain’s chairs fold flat, and can be tumbled forward to extend the load floor. The Sedona easily meets our bicycle-friendly standards. The long-wheelbase model can be configured to tow up to 3500 pounds: our minimum ALV standard. Roof rails are standard on the EX grade: crossbars on the test car are a $375 option.

    Standard safety

    All models come with front, side and side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, four-channel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Kia’s ten year/100,000 mile power train warranty includes five years of roadside assistance.

    The 2008 Kia Sedona is on display at dealerships nationwide.

    Likes: The Sedona has a high level of standard comfort and convenience features, and is less expensive than some of its comparably equipped competitors. The long-wheelbase model has an exceptional amount of legroom in the second and third rows.

    Dislikes: Fuel economy for the long wheelbase model is not very good. Third-row seats are difficult to fold and tumble into the floor.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Kia
    Model: Sedona EX
    Year: 2008
    Base price: $26,195
    As tested: $32,595
    Horsepower: 250 Hp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 253 lbs.-ft. @ 3500 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Towing: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Fuel economy: 16/23 mpg city/highway
    Comments: Base price does not include a $725 delivery charge.

     

    38 responses to “2008 Kia Sedona EX LWB”

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